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Gail Sheridan’s solicitor has questioned the "fundamentally wrong" OFCOM decision to reject the complaint of Gail Sheridan, whom he is representing, following the broadcast of the police tapes of her interviews while under caution by Lothian & Borders Police.
He has also challenged the "unlawful" release of the police interview tapes of Tommy and Gail Sheridan.
She is seeking a judicial review of the decision to clear its documentary the ‘Rise and Lies of Tommy Sheridan’.
Media specialist Campbell Deane questioned the "unlawful" release of police footage of her being questioned by Lothian and Borders police, after which charges against her were later dropped.
“The basic premise that Ofcom reached was that Gail Sheridan was entitled to privacy but that there was a public interest that outweighed that right to privacy. In my professional opinion that is just nonsense," he said.
"If she has a right to privacy, how can the public interest outweigh that in this particular case? We have a woman who has been found not guilty in due process, with all charges dropped, and you also have a tape which has been obtained for all intents and purposes, unlawfully.
“The decision is fundamentally wrong, that’s what it comes down to. If the matter had gone before a court, and the court was in a situation where it had to balance the right of privacy of an individual and the public interest in those circumstances, the rights of privacy would have outweighed the right to broadcast,” he continued.
The source of the release of the interview tapes has not been formally established. Both the Crown Office and Lothian and Borders police issued carefully hedged statements at the time of the leak, whilst Lothian and Borders police declined to formally deny any role.
A request to clarify the position remained unanswered after six months.
“When an individual is cautioned and charged and sitting in a police cell, you are cautioned and told that you have the right to remain silent, not that anything you don’t say we’ll pass to the BBC and the BBC will show it at a later date. And the BBC must be aware that the information that they have obtained is information that has a cloak of confidentiality surrounding it. They know they shouldn’t have it and that it is inherently private information. That’s fine if the public interest outweighs it, but it’s beyond me how in the circumstances here, the public interest can be deemed to outweigh it.”
Ofcom have not yet commented on Sheridan's challenge.
Image Credit: Sky News